Growing up, I never aspired to be a transcriptionist. I did not see myself as self-employed working from home most of my adult life. In school, we took those personality career quizzes. My results included garbageman/waste collector and teacher. I laughed and thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Yet, reflecting back, I loved being a teaching assistant at the elementary school while in high school as well as helping classmates when they struggled with high school math classes. (Although... I could have used some help with History!) While I never had the desire to homeschool my boys, teaching is something I do enjoy - in my own way. I suppose it’s not simply about teaching, but about helping others.
In junior high, we had to pick a career and do research on it. I picked Administrative Secretary. I remember how excited I was, the thought of working in an office doing all the things I thought I’d love to do. My dad was livid! “Why would you want to be a secretary? Why would you want to take orders from someone else? You can be your own boss! YOU can be the CEO!”
I cried. I cried a lot. “How you could you squash my dream?” I thought. Later in life, I realized he wasn’t trying to squash my dream at all. He wanted me to DREAM BIG and he had the confidence in me that I could achieve MORE. (I sure miss my dad.)
From a young age, I was an entrepreneur and didn’t even know it. Before even babysitting, my sisters and I packed up our cleaning supplies and tried to get gigs washing windows in people’s homes. (Not all ideas are successful.) We babysat for many years. Our dad would make these cute wooden bears, have us paint them, and then we’d take them to a local consignment shop to sell.
My entrepreneurial spirit was “dormant” while I was in college, working several jobs, and then had my first son just shy of 20 years old. I was busy trying to stay in college, raise a child, be a good wife, and work. It was a lot, but I loved it. At 25, I became pregnant with my second son and we decided I’d be a stay-at-home mom.
Here’s the thing. Daycare is EXPENSIVE! By the time I figured out how to get someone to take care of my older son after his half-day kindergarten (yes, that was a thing), as well as pay for full-time daycare for an infant, my checks would be, frankly, a joke, not to mention all the extra stress. Well, having kids is expensive as well. So, after being a stay-at-home for a few fun months, I needed an income!
There are MANY interesting ways to make money from home these days. Back in 1999, the Internet wasn’t this booming market it is today, and so the options I considered were more like selling bags, vitamins, kitchen supplies, shakes, exercise programs, home decor - you name it. The thought of having to pack up my wares to display at people’s homes later in the evening or weekends just wasn’t appealing to me. While they all can be very lucrative business ventures, they just weren’t for me.
As luck would have it, my sister-in-law told me about a side gig she had doing transcription as a subcontractor. I was intrigued. It sounded like the PERFECT fit for me. I pressed hard, and they signed me up as a subcontractor, first doing data entry, then quickly transitioning to transcription. They gave me the opportunity I needed, and I’ll be forever grateful.
The thing is, when you’re a self-employed/sole proprietor, you are, in essence, a business owner and an entrepreneur. There is so much more to being a transcriptionist than just opening up a Word document, typing out what you hear, and then emailing the file to a client - SO MUCH MORE.
In the past 20 years, I’ve worked as a subcontractor for a few people as well as through a few freelance sites. While I learned a lot, I really wanted to work directly with clients. It’s been a few years now since I made the transition and I’ve never looked back. It’s been an AMAZING experience and I’ve met many incredible people doing incredible things while being the owner/operator of Pham Transcription Services.
Along the way, I’ve also had people ask me about being a transcriptionist. I’ve tried to give them pointers, tips, and share some of my own techniques. I’ve even shared some of these on my YouTube channel. It takes time to explain all the nuances and everything I was sharing seemed so disconnected and incomplete. If only there was a way to put it all together in one place, more concise, more complete…
A DREAM WAS BORN. For a few years now, I’ve REALLY wanted to create a transcription course. There are a few available online, but they all seemed so homed in on building the skills for the task of transcription and not ALL the other things that go with running a transcription business. Now, I say, “Running a transcription business,” and I want to be clear that even if you are a sole proprietor working all by yourself, you are still running a business.
For the past 20 years, I’ve stuck to just offering transcription services. Over, I’d say the last five years, I’ve seen the popularity of virtual assistants become more and more popular and in demand. I’ve had a few transcription clients ask me if I’d be interested in taking on VA work but, frankly, I was a bit unsure and intimidated, so I never took the leap.
However, a little over a year ago, I had a transcription client ask me to consider taking on some VA work. They knew it would be my first go at it and were willing to teach me what I needed to know and give me the space to grow and, in return, help them grow. It has been a great experience, and I’m learning a great deal.
In fact, through being a virtual assistant, which I prefer to refer to myself as an Administrative Assistant (there’s some irony there), I’ve become quite familiar with Kajabi, an amazing learning platform. It is described as “The leading all-in-one online business platform [that] gives you everything you need to create, market, and sell your digital products.”
MIND EXPLOSION! The lightbulb went off! I could build a transcription course on Kajabi! This sounded like the perfect place to offer a course to help my fellow entrepreneurs get started and be successful in running their own transcription businesses! AWESOME!
Then I drug my feet… Taking a chance on anything is intimidating. Taking a chance on my own dreams always seems to be even more difficult. I’m not used to putting myself first. I’d rather do anything and everything for others before considering putting faith in myself to go after something that I’ve been dreaming about doing….
Then I had to change my mindset. What about the people who have asked me for help and advice when it came to doing transcription from home? What about those people who are emailing me their resumes struggling to find clients? It’s not all about ME. It’s about trying to put together a course that can really help OTHERS.
I drug my feet some more… It’s going to cost me time and money to build a course. What if nobody signs up? Worse, what if they HATE it? I will be a failure, right? What’s worse than failing is never knowing if you could have succeeded!
“If you don’t ever jump, your parachute will never open. You will never soar. Now, you’ll be safe, and you’ll sit there with that parachute on your back. All them skills you got, and all them skills you got, and you will have it packed away, and you will never get cut up on the rocks. Don’t jump, and you’ll never get cut up. But if you do not jump, you will never soar.”
“If you don’t jump -- if you don’t jump, I’m telling you right now, you’ll never know.” - Steve Harvey (2-minute mark on YouTube)
Have you ever heard Steve Harvey talk about success and advice? His message about taking the leap really resonated with me. The gist was, if you don't take that risk, that chance, you'll never know the results. You might fail, and fail miserably, but you DEFINITELY will not succeed if you don't JUMP… so, I jumped!
Shiz got real when I signed up for Kajabi and took the bet on myself with real hard cash. The onus is now on me to have faith in myself, to DO THE WORK, and to make the offer to help others in a truly meaningful way.
The mantra, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of done,” has been on my mind as I struggle to get over being on camera and listening to the sound of my own voice while building this course. It is truly a passion project. I’m pouring all the knowledge (tips, tricks, and techniques) I have into this course in hopes of really making a positive difference in the lives and careers of those either starting or building on their transcription businesses.
For those who have already signed up for the course, I'd like to say a heartfelt thank you! I'm excited about the journey this community is on and for your continued success!
If you are at all considering a career in transcription services or are struggling in your transcription business, PLEASE let me help you. Check out the course BYOTB 101: Build Your Own Transcription Business. The course is currently in pre-launch as all the modules are being built out.
There are almost always expenses in getting started with an at-home business. Transcription is no different. The added expense of an online course can oftentimes be financially out of reach. While it’d be great to take, it can simply be too costly. I understand this all too well.
This is why, for a limited time, I’m offering a STEEP discount while the course modules are being built out. You can get started now and have lifetime access to the course, but at a very low, low price point. This won’t last long, but I wanted a way to help out fellow entrepreneurs by reducing another barrier of accessing an online course.
Let’s SOAR together! Let’s continue to believe in our ourselves and take that leap! My dad wanted me to DREAM BIG and achieve MORE, and I want that for YOU! Go to My Office Owl for more information.
* Are you unclear on what transcription is and what a transcriptionist does? Find out more as I Define Transcription.
* Have you adjusted the height of your task chair to correlate with the height of your desk and now your feet are "dangling"/not touching the ground? You might need a footrest/foot riser. Let's find out.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars…” - author unknown
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, love what you are doing or learning to do.” - Pele